We Just Got a First Glance at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights,’ and WOW, It Looks Good

Adrianna Freedman
·3 min read
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.


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🎶 Lights up on Washington Heights! 🎶…or rather, on our movie and TV screens. It feels like it’s been an eternity, but we’re finally getting the first genuine taste of summer courtesy of the highly anticipated movie In the Heights, which is coming to theaters June 11!

While there’s still time before you can put on your dancing shoes and move your hips to the rhythm of the bachata music, let’s explore what exactly the hype is all about. After all, this genius of a movie is based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical, which he casually composed during his days at Wesleyan University (is there anything this beautiful man CAN’T do?). Oh, and now it’s being adapted to the big screen by none other than Crazy Rich Asians director John Chu. With those two collaborating, it’s bound to be magical. Here’s what we know about In the Heights.

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What exactly is In the Heights about?

Allow me to give you intel on the movie itself before you start properly fangirling. Taking place over three days, the film follows the interpersonal relationships of the Dominican community living in Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood. It focuses primarily on bodega owner Usnavi, who has big dreams for himself…including getting with his dream girl, Vanessa, who works in the boutique beauty salon next door. Joining the couple are other important figures in their lives, such as Nina, Usnavi’s best friend who has quite the surprise for her parents when she returns home from college.

TL;DR: It’s a story about love, resilience, celebrating community, and the beauty of finding your home. Genius.

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Okay, I’m officially in love. Now, who is starring in In the Heights?

Get ready for this one, because there are plenty of Hollywood heavy hitters to go around in this movie cast. Former Hamilton star Anthony Ramos is taking on the main role, with Vida actress Melissa Barrera portraying Vanessa. Stephanie Beatriz, Broadway legend Daphne Rubin-Vega, Corey Hawkins, Dascha Polanco, and Jimmy Smits will all have featured roles too. Oh, and expect a cameo from a casual Spanish pop star named Marc Anthony (!!) too.

And saving the best for last: Our fave literary genius Lin himself will make a special appearance. Watch out for Lin-Manuel Miranda as the neighborhood “piragua guy” walking by the 181st Street subway station, because what is more quintessentially New York than that?

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Is there a trailer I can watch?

You bet there is. While the initial trailer debuted way back in 2020—thanks, COVID-19, for pushing back the biggest movie of the season—we were blessed with an all-new trailer during the 2021 Oscars:

*cues up the In the Heights Broadway cast recording*

Alright, I’m in. Now, where can I see the movie when it comes out?

Good Q! The film is expected to hit theaters on June 11, so get your popcorn ready. But for those who would rather watch it from the comfort of your home, no worries—HBO Max has your back. For those who have accounts (if not, it’s $14.99 a month to subscribe), the movie will debut on the streaming platform the same day as its theatrical premiere.

And should you find yourself humming the catchy music once you’re done (because the title track is already stuck in my head), you’ll be able to download the movie soundtrack that same day. Can we get ourselves an amen while we’re at it?

Want more movie intel? Yeah. We know you do. You can find all of our film coverage here.

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